Anya Nov 15, 2013 Blog, MagNets 0 Comments

Welcome to our dev diary, week two: trying out Unity Pro!

I know, I know, we’ve been developing for more than a year now and we’ve only just got Pro, but no-one likes to spend money in substantial amounts when you have a free version that works fine.

However, we all concluded this week that waiting was crazy. Waiting before installing Unity 4.3, however, might have been wise… it’s been a bit crash-tastic.

As expected, what with Pro and Unity 4.3 hitting us all in one go, we’ve been mostly experimenting this week and there’s not much in the way of gameplay progress going on. Here’s some of what we’ve been doing:

Navmesh:

magnets_navmesh

Here you can see some ghostly-looking bots pathfinding in a slightly more sensible fashion. I find this a step in the wrong direction, really, as the way they moved before had unintended consequences that were both adorable and hilarious.

Will’s thoughts: navmesh, woo! Now we just need to figure out how to make it dynamic…

Full screen effects:

We all have a terrible collective weakness for sparklies and shinies, but no-one as much as Will, whose taste is somewhat seventies… which is why we have things like this:

chromaticabberation

In a more toned-down variant, we all like this look best:

magnets_basiclevel

Mhmm, cartoony. Mmmmmmmm, antialiasing effect.

It’s cool because Will has set up a lot of experimental scenes with lots of different shaders and this is supposed to be the least intensive set.

Other Codey Stuff

On the non-Pro side of things, Richard’s been working on the MagNet, trying to get more of the effect and behaviour we’re after. In doing so it seems to have acquired a lovely wibbly rainbow texture. He’s also been working on the camera, nailing it down a bit so we can build levels to suit it. We’re not overly keen on nailing things down, sometimes; I think we have commitment issues. But this one’s gotta be solid.

Art

I have been knocking out many basic models and animations for level decorations, spawners, traps and buttons. I doubt any of them are final; as you can see, some are more quickly readable than others.

stuff

we’ve got some scripts to make these things do things, but we will be hooking these up next week when we make a big push towards functional gameplay. I’ve also been getting my head around anim controllers, particularly the player’s – which is currently using the mechanim animation re-targeting and some free animations (possibly Unity example ones), but will not be doing so forever – mostly as our little dude is not an ideal humanoid shape, and we need him to be crazy snappy. He’s a big job that will involve oh-so-much iterating upon, so I’m taking the approach of dipping into it when I get fed up with other tasks – until it becomes the Job of the Week and I go all-out on him and possibly start afresh.

We’re working on a week-by-week, uber-agile basis, with lots and lots of short-term goal-setting. I’ll be posting our weekly Task Whiteboard records soon to keep us accountable. It’s been a pretty intense journey to get to this state: our baby Iliara dominated our earliest learning experiences, ultimately proving too ambitious to do with no experience as a company, especially with no money save for what was in Richard’s pocket; then we spent quite a while on a demo for an even more ambitious concept as contractors, with funding that – as funding often does – ran out; then the mercifully brief limbo we were in after that before finally having the right combination of money, time, experience and sense to start on this, our Actually Actual Definite Make-it-or-Die-Trying First Game. And I, for one, am super-excited right now.

But you’ve probably noticed that I’m always super-excited. 😀

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